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    الثلاثاء، 9 أغسطس، 2016

    Earthquakes, Disasters and Protection


    Earthquakes, Disasters and Protection


    In spite of the huge technical achievements of the last century – which have given
    us skyscraper cities, fast and cheap air travel and instant global telecommunications,
    as well as eradicating many major diseases and providing the potential
    to feed our burgeoning population – over much of the world the threat of earthquakes
    has remained untamed. As later chapters will show, the progress we have
    made in reducing the global death toll from earthquakes is modest, and at the
    beginning of the twenty-first century, we have become distressingly familiar with
    tragic media images of the total devastation of towns, villages and human lives
    caused by large earthquakes, for which their victims have been quite unprepared.

    One possible reason for the lack of progress in saving lives from earthquakes
    is that although they are among our oldest enemies, it is only in the last quarter of
    the twentieth century that we have begun to understand how to protect ourselves
    against them. From time to time in our history, parts of the earth have apparently
    randomly been shaken violently by vast energy releases. Where these events have
    occurred near human settlements, the destruction has been legendary. Tales of
    destruction of ancient cities, like Troy in Greek mythology, and Taxila, have
    been attributed to the power of the earthquake. In more recent memory the cities
    of Messina in Italy, Tangshan in China, Tokyo and Kobe in Japan, and San
    Francisco in the United States have all been devastated by massive earthquakes.
    The apparent randomness of earthquakes, their lack of any visible cause and their
    frightening destructiveness earned them over the centuries the status of divine
    judgement. They were the instruments of displeasure of the Greek god Poseidon

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